I love these portraits of maids of upper class Mexico City neighborhoods out walking the boss’s dog.  Dog-walking is something I’ve been thinking about a bit since a friend told me he was curating an exhibition about the subject.  There is more to walking a dog than meets the eye; when doing so, you’re spending one-on-one time participating in a social activity with an animal and also publicly sharing your relationship to that animal.

This project is an interesting portrayal of just one of the daily responsibilities of the women pictured.  What strikes me about the images, beyond the race, class, and gender issues present, is the range of expressions on the faces of these women walking someone else’s dog, the same way they take care of someone else’s family.  The dogs are all purebred, status symbols for the wealthy, being cared for by another representation of wealth: a maid hired to tend to the children and the home and to take the dog for daily walks.

From the artist’s statement: Within the context of the Mexican upper middle class and high society, I am interested in the socio-economic power relationships that exists between women who are employed as ‘maids’ and their employers, as well as the value of support they give to these families. The work explores how, on occasion, the [responsibilities] of these women are not only defined as domestic labor, but also as a partial emulation of the role of family member, which in itself blurs the boundaries of role and identity, meaning that while on the one hand they are temporary employees, on the other hand they are indispensable, fundamental sources of support for the familial system.

Visit artist's site: monicaruzansky.com

Found via: Feature Shoot